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Tim Kaine holds 23-point lead over Senate challenger Corey Stewart, according to new VCU poll

Democratic U.S. Senator Tim Kaine holds a commanding 23-point lead — 49 percent to 26 percent — over Republican challenger Corey Stewart among likely voters in Virginia’s Senate race, according to a new statewide poll by the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs at VCU.

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By Robyn McDougle Ph.D. & Farrah Stone Graham
L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs

Democratic U.S. Senator Tim Kaine holds a commanding 23-point lead — 49 percent to 26 percent — over Republican challenger Corey Stewart among likely voters in Virginia’s Senate race, according to a new statewide poll by the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs at Virginia Commonwealth University. Twenty percent of likely voters and 57 percent of independents remain undecided.

Stewart is attracting only 66 percent of Republican or Republican-leaning respondents so far and trailing Kaine by more than a 2-to-1 margin among those independents who have already decided for whom they will vote. By contrast, Kaine has the support of 88 percent of Democrats.

The poll, a random sample of 802 adults in Virginia conducted by landline and cell telephone from July 10-30, has a margin of error of 3.49 percent. Likely voter estimates have a margin of error of 3.59 percent.

Kaine is winning every key demographic category. Kaine’s lead is significantly larger among women (56 percent to 21 percent) but he also leads among men (40 percent to 33 percent). Similarly, Kaine leads by a wide margin among minority respondents (74 percent to 7 percent) but also by a small margin among white respondents (39 percent to 35 percent). Respondents ages 18 to 34 and those with some college or a college degree were also significantly more likely to favor Kaine.

Stewart is attracting only 66 percent of Republican or Republican-leaning respondents so far and trailing Kaine by more than a 2-to-1 margin among those independents who have already decided for whom they will vote. Stewart is attracting only 66 percent of Republican or Republican-leaning respondents so far and trailing Kaine by more than a 2-to-1 margin among those independents who have already decided for whom they will vote.

The poll also asked respondents which party they would rather see in control of Congress. A narrow majority of 51 percent of respondents said they would rather see the Democrats control Congress. That compares to 32 percent who would prefer Republican control, giving a 19-point margin to Democrats, a finding that may indicate a possible blue wave in several congressional races.

A stronger alignment among Democrats (91 percent prefer Democratic control of Congress) than among Republicans (where only 80 percent prefer Republican control and 16 percent are undecided) appears to drive the Democrats’ lead and may indicate some level of tension between the preferences of Virginia Republicans and the national leadership of the Republican party. Independents, on the other hand, are still mostly (57 percent) undecided.

Amid the furor over the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy, which seeks to deport all undocumented immigrants, the poll also finds that a plurality of Virginians (48 percent, up from 39 percent in 2017) would like to see only those undocumented immigrants who have been convicted of serious crimes targeted for deportation. Twenty-seven percent want to see all undocumented immigrants deported, 18 percent prefer targeting those convicted of any crime and only 3 percent support no deportations of undocumented immigrants.

In other findings, the poll shows that only 16 percent of Virginians want the Virginia General Assembly in charge of legislative redistricting after the 2020 census — 24 percent favor a panel of local and state experts and 20 percent favor a citizen commission.

For a PDF of the 22-page report, including complete question wording and detailed tables of results, click here.

On Friday, August 10th, the Wilder School’s Center for Public Policy will release further poll results measuring Virginians’ views on several policy issues facing localities, including whether localities should be able to restrict the carrying of weapons at public gatherings such as protests or festivals.

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Education

Nominate an incredible HCPS educator for the 2023 REB Award for Teaching Excellence

Central Virginia recipients of the REB Awards for Teaching Excellence have earned graduate degrees, climbed mountains, studied the effects of climate change, traced their ancestors and met peers from around the world — all to reignite their own passion for learning and to pass it on to their students. Each of their REB journeys started with a nomination.

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Central Virginia recipients of the REB Awards for Teaching Excellence have earned graduate degrees, climbed mountains, studied the effects of climate change, traced their ancestors and met peers from around the world — all to reignite their own passion for learning and to pass it on to their students. Each of their REB journeys started with a nomination.

Nominate the special Henrico County Public Schools teacher in your life for an REB Award for Teaching Excellence. Nominations are due Feb. 21 at 5 p.m. The annual awards provide a tangible, public way to recognize outstanding HCPS instructors — and give them the means to continue growing. The awards are given by the Community Foundation, and identify, recognize and support teaching excellence in the Richmond area. Honorees receive professional development grants, given to teachers who have distinguished themselves by their inspiring classroom performance. Grants have been increased and range from $5,000 to $15,000.

Through a nomination process, approximately 15 outstanding teachers are selected each year to receive cash grants to support professional development activities. Nominations are invited from parents, students, educators and the community at large. Individuals may nominate only one teacher. Teachers may not be nominated by their principal and may not nominate themselves.

Nominations must be made online. A letter in support of the nomination must be written by another individual and submitted online with the nomination.

Who: The Community Foundation invites nominations from students, parents, colleagues, school staff and administrators (except for the school principal), and members of the community.

When: Nominations and letters of support must be submitted online by Feb. 21 at 5 p.m.

How: Go to henricoschools.us and look under “What’s Trending” for a link with full details, or visit cfrichmond.org/REB. For questions regarding nominations, email Tracie Weston, HCPS’ director of professional learning and leadership, at [email protected].

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Education

Student entrepreneurs win beverage competition with cold brew iced tea product that counteracts negative caffeine side effects

A group of 16 University of Richmond student entrepreneurs will soon rally behind a product created by their classmates. Lume, a cold brew iced tea that delivers “controlled energy”, emerged as the winner of the second annual Bench Top Innovations Great Bake Off.

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A group of 16 University of Richmond student entrepreneurs will soon rally behind a product created by their classmates. Lume, a cold brew iced tea that delivers “controlled energy”, emerged as the winner of the second annual Bench Top Innovations Great Bake Off.

“Bench Top Innovations: Creating & Commercializing Culinary Magic,” is a year-long program where students ideate, develop, and commercialize an innovative and practical food or beverage product. The course is a partnership between UR’s Creativity, Innovation & Entrepreneurship Initiative, the Robins School of Business, the Jepson School of Leadership, and the School of Arts and Sciences.

Students worked in teams and presented their products to a panel of judges that included University leaders and food and beverage investors during a pitch competition last month. At stake — funding for further product development and becoming the sole focus of the class. Next semester, all 16 students will work as one unit to launch and scale their business around the winning product, Lume.

“Lume is a cold brew black iced tea with added caffeine and L-Theanine, a natural amino acid,” said junior Grace Clarke, the drink’s co-creator. They will offer the tea in a variety of flavors, including super berry.

In their pitch, the Lume team highlighted the use of L-Theanine, which occurs naturally in plants, as a component of their product to boost energy and counteract the typical side effects of caffeine, like jitters or trouble sleeping. They have labeled this “controlled energy.”

“We learned that caffeine and L-Theanine were a great balance,” said Clarke.

“The judges chose Lume because they thought it was the product most ready to hit the shelves,” said marketing lecturer Joel Mier, who co-teaches the course with Executive-in-Residence and Health Warrior co-founder Shane Emmett.

This year’s other ideas included several non-dairy options and an orange juice/protein powder mix.

The year-long CIE Benchtop Innovation program is designed to emphasize creativity, inspire innovation, and spark entrepreneurship. The winner of the inaugural competition last year was Absurd Snacks, a roasted bean-based trail mix designed for people with food allergies, which is now available online and at many retailers.

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We need your help. RVAHub is a small, independent publication, and we depend on our readers to help us provide a vital community service. If you enjoy our content, would you consider a donation as small as $5? We would be immensely grateful! Interested in advertising your business, organization, or event? Get the details here.

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Education

No Kid Hungry Virginia awards $255,000 in grants to 17 schools, community organizations

No Kid Hungry Virginia recently distributed $255,801 across 17 school districts and community organizations to expand and strengthen food access for children and families in Virginia.

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Childhood hunger continues to be a pressing issue in the Commonwealth. According to the latest estimates from Feeding America, about one in 10 Virginia kids face food insecurity.  

No Kid Hungry Virginia focuses on increasing access to meal programs managed by school divisions and local nonprofits as a proven strategy for addressing hunger in Virginia communities.  

“Our talented and devoted nutrition teams know what works in their communities, and this latest round of investments will help operators innovate and reach more kids,” said No Kid Hungry Virginia Director Sarah Steely. “We remain committed to supporting schools, community-based organizations, and regional food banks that are working to close the hunger gap in the commonwealth.” 

The latest grants will support a variety of needs identified by grantees, like meal service equipment upgrades, as well as helping to launch farm-to-school and backpack programs. 

No Kid Hungry Virginia grants include:

  • Accomack County Public Schools: $20,000 
  • Appalachian Sustainable Development: $10,000 
  • Arms Open Wide Ministries: $20,000 
  • Blessings in a Backpack – Mount Vernon Community School: $4,800 
  • Brunswick County Public Schools: $6,841 
  • Central Virginia Food Bank – FeedMore: $10,000 
  • Core Foundation Inc. DBA Helping Hungry Kids of NOVA: $5,000 
  • Dinwiddie County Public Schools: $15,000 
  • Fredericksburg Regional Food Bank: $15,000 
  • Hampton Roads Community Action Program: $25,000 
  • Healthy Harvest Food Bank Inc.: $19,160 
  • Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry Inc.: $8,000 
  • Loudoun County Public Schools: $25,000 
  • Louisa County Public Schools: $11,200  
  • Norfolk Public Schools: $25,000 
  • Petersburg City Public Schools: $20,000 
  • Quin Rivers, Inc/Thrive: $15,800 

Will you help support independent, local journalism?

We need your help. RVAHub is a small, independent publication, and we depend on our readers to help us provide a vital community service. If you enjoy our content, would you consider a donation as small as $5? We would be immensely grateful! Interested in advertising your business, organization, or event? Get the details here.

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